The Military Committee agreed upon a Concept for a FMN capability in November 2012. It provided overarching guidance for establishing a Federated Mission Network capability that would enable effective information sharing among NATO, NATO Nations, and/or Non-NATO Entities participating in operations. The goal of FMN is to connect forces participating in an operation to a federated mission environment at any time, quickly and at an optimised level of interoperability. The purpose of FMN is ultimately to support command and control and decision-making in operations. Entities which desire to be part of FMN supported missions are called affiliates. The concept of FMN is a key contribution to the Connected Forces Initiative (CFI), helping Allied partner forces to better communicate, train and operate together.
After the approval of the FMN Concept, ACT was tasked, in coordination with Allied Command Operations (ACO) and NATO Communication and Information Agency (NCIA) to develop a NATO FMN Implementation Plan (NFIP). The NFIP lead to the establishment of the FMN Governance and Management body (within ACO) and several Working Groups (see scheme below).
The NATO C2COE with Information Management and Human Aspects as two of its Focus Areas, is especially interested in the Operational Coordination Working Group (OCWG) as it represents the operators of FMN. The OCWG is responsible for collecting, expressing and managing operational requirements.
Generally speaking, it can be stated that FMN currently is a huge, continuous synchronization effort focussed on technology and systems, the ability to share. However, the mental/cultural aspects of FMN, the willingness to share, are hardly ever mentioned. Achieving FMN Ready Forces (at Day One) further requires bridging the gap between users (requesters) and the technical developers, realistic ambitions with regard to the pace of progress and attention for organisational process such as rigid procurement cycles. But most important involvement of the too busy war-fighter who is totally unaware of the structured efforts to better support him.
Although FMN is no longer part of the NATO C2COE Program of Work, the NATO C2COE will continue its contribution to the OCWG in 2018, since its participation provides valuable insights and influences the development of FMN-facilitated C2 concepts.
Click here to view a NCIA project video.
The POCs are:
- OPR: LTC (NLD N MC) Frank Gubbels
- DOPR: MAJ (NLD AF) Ron Werkman